Published at Saturday, 21 July 2018. Blanket. By Leticia Solomon.
In 1901 the introduction of the jacquard loom altered the designs dramatically allowing the mills to create different zigzag designs in contrasting colors. The Native Americans had no choice but to accept them.
Native Americans are very much connected to the history of the blanket. Long before white settlers drove west the Indians could use their blankets made from plant fibers as trade items for food and tools. When trappers began to move west in search of animal skins, they would trade blankets to the Indians for beaver skins. Then when the settlers drove west the Native Americans could trade handmade blankets, strung beads and other items made from animal bones for commercially made wool blankets.
Then in the year 1896 the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton Oregon became the first mill founded for the sole purpose of producing trade blankets. Each of these mills had their own specific design to designate which mill it was produced in. Some of them were very similar in design, but the Oregon City blankets had a very intricate design that was different from all the rest. The plains Indians preferred the Capps simple design over all the rest.
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